- You can book a seat on a plane, not a car, with flight-sharing startup Blackbird.
- The California-based company’s newest service, Hitch, could be the UberPool for planes, since it pairs passengers on the Blackbird app with pilots that are headed to the same destination for as little as $50 a seat.
- I gave a Blackbird flight a whirl to experience what could be a travel option of the future.
Imagine logging onto an app and hailing, not a car, but a plane to take you where you need to go.
That’s what flight-sharing startup Blackbird lets you do. Its goal? To fill the void in a travel market that leaves passengers limited when it comes to short regional flights.
Its newly-launched service, Hitch, could be the UberPool for planes.
The same way that Uber and Lyft offer lower-cost fares that match you with riders going your same direction, Blackbird matches passengers on the Blackbird app with pilots that are already flying toward their desired destination.
No long airport lines or crowded terminals included — just show up 15 minutes beforehand and walk across the tarmac onto the plane.
Pilots then file operating costs (fuel, oil, rental, and airport fees) and split them with the passengers that they shuttled.
But, unlike ride-sharing companies that have to incentivize drivers to hop onto the platform, Blackbird is relying on the fact that passionate pilots would probably have their planes in the air anyhow.
“You have to convince a Lyft driver to use Lyft — you don’t have to convince a pilot to fly,” said Brian Nichols, head of operations for Blackbird.
I flew on a private plane booked via the Blackbird platform to see what the flight-sharing experience of the future could be like, and it could be a total game changer.